November 18th, 2015
Alberta has always been one of Canada’s leaders of industry and business, thanks in no small measure to the Canadian government’s dedication to funding businesses. The federal government recognizes the importance of keeping Alberta’s companies ready and able to expand and innovate as needed. To that end, it helps to sponsor programs that provide financial assistance for the province’s development requirements and priorities.
TECTERRA’S Commitment to Albertans
A key part of the federal government’s Western Economic Diversification Canada initiative, TECTERRA’s Industry Investment Program (IND) provides backing for Alberta’s small-to-medium sized companies that specialize in innovative geospatial solutions. Aimed at the Integrated Resource Management sector, these provincially allocated financial incentives allow firms to expand their technological development and enhance commercialization of new products and services.
Since the spring of 2010, the Alberta government’s TECTERRA program has supported 46 product development commercialization ventures and 25 applied research projects. $30 million in business loans supplemented an additional $18 million invested by the companies in question.
That combined investment yielded $58 million in economic benefits for Alberta, with a projection of $300 million coming in the next few years. It also led to the filing of ten patents with a further 45 in various stages of development.
Supporting a Leading Sector
IND aims to help firms seeking solutions for energy, forestry, agriculture, environment, land management and land development. Alberta boasts some of the country’s leading geospatial companies with the province’s Information and Communications Technologies sector employing approximately 43,000 people and generating about $13 billion in annual revenue. The downturn in the oil sector shows the need for Alberta to further broaden its economic bases and supporting the ICT sector’s continued growth makes excellent business sense.
TECTERRA responded to the decline by increasing the maximum amount of funds available to companies that qualify for IND. $150,000 to $500,000 is now available per project with additional funding requests considered on a case-by-case basis. According to the Geomatics Industry Association of Canada, this country makes up 20% of the geomatics world market. Alberta accounts for 40% of that total, which clearly demonstrates the need to ensure the province’s continued success in this area.
Funds and the Application Process
Participation in IND is open to small and medium enterprises located in Alberta—including start-ups—on projects running 12-24 months. These businesses must provide full-time employment for at least one new worker whose background makes them highly qualified personnel. Partnership with another industry, academic institution or government body is preferred. Repayment is interest-free and the entire application process takes less than four months to complete.
The Western Economic Diversification Canada Program is a key source of government funding for business with a proven track record of success. The federal government is aware of Alberta’s success as a technological innovator, as well as the need to aid industries in the province that strive to continue this accomplishment. Its continued sponsorship of TECTERRA’s Industry Investment Program is a show of support for both the province and the industries that use Integrated Resource Management to maximize production efficiency.